Am I candidate for mastectomy?
You are a candidate for mastectomy if:
- Tumor is larger than 5 cm
- Breasts are small
- Previous attempts with lumpectomy have failed
- Not a good candidate for lumpectomy and radiation
How is mastectomy different from lumpectomy?
While mastectomy removes the entire breast tissue, lumpectomy is a breast-conserving surgery that involves the removal of only the tumour, along with a surrounding margin of healthy tissue. Lumpectomy is usually followed by radiation therapy and is as effective as mastectomy for single-site cancers less than 4 cm, and is generally considered by many women who would like to retain their own natural breasts. However, lumpectomy has a higher risk of cancer recurrence. On the other hand, mastectomy has a much lower risk for cancer recurrence and is chosen by high-risk women who want to prevent cancer development. Mastectomy can be followed by breast reconstruction surgery to reconstruct the lost breast tissue.
Can I prevent breast cancer with mastectomy?
Prophylactic mastectomy is a surgery performed to remove one or both of your breasts in an effort to reduce your risk of breast cancer. It is suggested in women who are at a high risk of developing breast cancer. These include patients with:
- Personal or family history of breast cancer
- Diagnosed positive for BRCA1, BRCA2 or PALB2 gene mutations
- Radiation therapy targeted on the chest region before 30 years of age
Are my medical records kept private and confidential?
Your medical file is handled with the utmost respect for your privacy. Our staff is bound by strict confidentiality requirements as a condition of employment regarding your medical records. Ordinarily we will not release the contents of your medical file without your consent.
What should I bring with me when I come for an appointment?
When you come for your Appointments, please remember to bring the following
- Referral letter from GP, family physician or other doctor
- Medicare card, DVA card, pension card
- Have your private hospital insurance information with you
- Reports, X-rays, MRIs, CT scans etc. and any other relevant information
How do I schedule an appointment?
You can schedule an appointment by calling us directly during our working hours. Every effort will be made to ensure that patients with a cancer diagnosis are seen and treated promptly ( within 2 weeks).
Your wound is closed with dissolvable sutures that do not need to be removed. The dressing is waterproof and you can shower with it in place. The dressing will stay in place until you are seen in clinic.
After your surgery you may feel a lump or ridge in the breast. This is part of the normal healing process and may take up to 3 months to settle.
If your wound becomes red or you develop a temperature please contact your surgeon or GP as soon as possible
You should restrict vigorous activities for 2 weeks.
Please do not swim or soak your wound in water for 6 weeks after your surgery
You can drive after 2 weeks or when you have seen your surgeon
Please bring with you a comfortable non-underwire bra that you could sleep in comfortably and plan to wear it for the first 2 weeks after your surgery
Complete the course of antibiotics, if prescribed
Take painkillers only as directed.
Please do not add in any pain medication you have at home unless otherwise directed
COMMON QUESTIONS ANSWERED:
The day before surgery someone from the hospital will contact you with your time of admissionhen do I need to stop eating?
You need to have an empty stomach for your surgery so please do not eat or drink or chew gum for 6 hours before your admission timeWhat do I takeospital?
You will need to be in hospital for half a day or 4 hours after your surgery. If you have morning surgery you can leave in the afternoon. If you have afternoon surgery, you can leave in the evening.
Are there any rules for discharge?
You will only be allowed to have day surgery if you can be collected by and go home to a responsible adult who can be with you for 24 hours after your surgery.